I considered staying up until midnight last night to watch Netflix’s two-hour Breaking Bad movie El Camino as soon as it went up, but I’m glad I didn’t. It’s fine, it’s worth watching if you’re a fan of the series (otherwise it’ll mean nothing to you). But it doesn’t answer any particularly compelling questions. I think we assumed at the conclusion of the magnificent final episode of the series in 2013 that Jesse Pinkman would somehow be fine, and El Camino is confirmation of that, explaining how he evaded capture after that spectacular final act of Walter White. There are also lots of flashbacks to his time in captivity, but these don’t carry that much suspense since we know what happened subsequently and they feel a bit like filler. If El Camino were an episode of the series it wouldn’t be in the top 25. No need to clear your schedule to watch it right away. It feels to me like a prologue to a Jesse Pinkman spinoff series.
I was going to write a review today, but I don’t have that much to say about it. There are a few cameos from familiar characters seen in flashbacks and writer-director Vince Gilligan throws in several of those trademark scenes where the protagonist gets himself into a seemingly impossible situation but then schemes his way out of it. Mainly it provides a showcase for Aaron Paul as Pinkman. Freed of competition from Bryan Cranston, he really gets to show off what he can do as an actor. Bravo to him.
Now I return to watching the entire run of Breaking Bad from beginning to end. (I’m on episode five of season one.) It’s the finest TV drama ever made.